The leadership of the Catholic Church is becoming more diverse, and that's great news for us all
The demographics of the Church hierarchy are changing as the College of Cardinals becomes more diverse. This is a step towards fulfilling the destiny of the Church to be a truly universal organization that is comprised of all the people of all nations.
The Church is becoming more diverse, and less Eurocentric.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Historically, the Catholic Church has been remarkably Eurocentric. The Popes were often Italian with the staff of the Vatican drawn from across Europe. However, beginning with Pope John Paul II, the Church has directed its attention southward, bringing more clergy from Africa and Asia into the Vatican.
The shift is a mark of success. It is the product of successful evangelism in Africa and Asia. It is also a healthy sign that the Church is not beset by ancient ethnic prejudices, but instead reflects God's love for all people. It lends strength and credibility to the Church, ensuring it will be a part of the future, and not an anachronism of the past as its enemies wish.
In the decades to come, the nations with the most Catholics will soon be Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines. And by the trends, it will not be long before those nations produce pontiffs.
Cardinals are chosen by the Pope, with their official duty being to elect the new pope once one is needed. However, their more common role is to serve as advisors to the Pope as needed. Many Cardinals also serve as bishops and archbishops, or as heads of departments in the Vatican.
By choosing cardinals from around the world, the popes have been altering the makeup of the Church, making it much less Eurocentric and more representative of the growing population of Catholics worldwide. This increases the chances that the next pope will be from someplace other than Europe.
While the Church is steadfast in its teachings and dogma, people from different regions come with different attitudes towards various ideas. For example, Europeans tend to be more liberal in their attitudes toward sexuality. Likewise, clergy from the developing nations will have an intimate understanding of issues such as poverty and the environment, something their wealthier colleagues from Europe may lack to some degree.
Clergy from the developing world may come from regions where Hinduism and Islam flourish, so they will have a unique perspective on these faiths and their followers that Europeans may lack.
However, the world is changing. Europe itself is becoming more diverse as people arrive from around the world, sometimes fleeing persecution.
In the centuries to come, ancient divisions over race will diminish as the world becomes a global melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Regional issues will divide us more than race and culture. In that age, we pray the Church speaks with a universal voice of reason, informed by the diversity of its clergy and steered and guarded by the teachings and promises of Christ.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
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